The first-ever World Breastfeeding in Public Day took place yesterday, 22 February and breastfeeders everywhere gathered together in a show of solidarity and support.
The aim of the day, which was set up by Destiny Smith, is to recognize the importance of breastfeeding and to give Mother’s the confidence to breastfeed their babies in public places.
Meetups and events took place all over the world
A Facebook group set up by Danielle Facey from The Breastfeeding Mentor allowed people to arrange their own meetups and events in their hometowns. From Scotland to Singapore, tons of events were organised by parents so that breastfeeders could meet in person and feed in public as a collective.
Many people chose to mark the day in their own way by posting photos and personal experiences of breastfeeding in public to their social media accounts. Hundreds of people joined in online using #WorldBreastfeedingInPublicDay.
The UK flagship event drew plenty of attention
In the UK, the flagship event for World Breastfeeding In Public Day took place in Birmingham City. Organised by Danielle Facey, lots of breastfeeders turned up to feed their little ones openly in Grand Central Birmingham. Posting to Instagram Stories, Danielle said they’d received such supportive comments from people and even were given free refreshments by a coffee shop.
Chevi attended the meetup with her two children and posted about her experience on her Instagram account, saying “What an amazing day…So many people saw us mamas breastfeeding & stopped and asked for a photo. Many said they were proud of us. It & makes my heart all warm and fuzzy that there’s people out there who support breastfeeding mamas.”
The meetups helped open up conversations about breastfeeding
The meetups offered a chance for people to come together and promote breastfeeding. It also gave many the opportunity to speak openly about their breastfeeding experiences and thoughts and feelings around breastfeeding in public.
Chloe Jayne Cave, a babywearing consultant who runs a breastfeeding support group, organised a meetup on the Isle of Wight. She said: “We had around 14 families attend and lots of supportive partners and siblings too. It was a great event and so lovely to open up those conversations, especially with partners around how breastfeeding in public has affected them and how they’ve found ways to support their breastfeeding partner. It was a great way to say thank you and support them as well as the person feeding.”
“It was a great event and so lovely to open up those conversations, especially with partners around how breastfeeding in public has affected them and how they’ve found ways to support their breastfeeding partner.”Chloe Jayne Cave
Breastfeeding in public continues to carry a stigma
Breastfeeding in public continues to be a challenge and a cause for concern for a lot of breastfeeding mothers around the world. For many, there is the pressure to be discreet when feeding, to go somewhere private to feed, or to give baby a bottle of milk instead. There’s is also apprehension around other people’s perceptions and negative comments.
The lack of support for breastfeeding in public can lead to mothers giving up breastfeeding before they want to. By encouraging and promoting people to breastfeed when out and about, breastfeeding rates around the world will increase. The hope is that World Breastfeeding In Public Day can go a long way to normalising breastfeeding in public and remove any lasting stigma that surrounds it.
“The whole point of this day is to normalise breastfeeding so that mums feel empowered to nurse anywhere, for as long as they and their child so choose.
Breastfeeding never stops being beneficial and so support for it should not have an expiry date either.
Here’s to the day when breastfeeding in public doesn’t need its own day, because it is accepted as the most natural & normal practice in the world, all over the world.”Danielle Facey